Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The latest thing....

Hello everyone.

One of my secret pleasures is perusing the Lakeland Catalogue. I even used to order stuff in the old days when I had money. At work we had the Lakeland Coven. If an order was over £40, the postage would be free, so we would pool our orders. The parcel would then be delivered to the office. Our receptionist would call one of the coven, then we would all congregate in recpetion at lunchtime to divide the spoils. Even colleagues who hadn't ordered anything would come along, just for the comedy value.

For those of you still unaware of Lakeland, it sells a vast array of household items. Some are absolute lifesavers, others are a complete waste of time, and some are just plain perculiar......

Like this thing here:

I suggest you all take a look. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's just the thing you're looking for.
I won't be ordering one.....

Monday, 1 December 2008

December's edition of All The Rage

All The Rage is a joy to behold.

Take a look:


This month it's all about biography.

Have fun!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

An Interim Passion

Now don't get excited - I'm just about getting over Green Wing. The years of therapy have really helped and I feel quite rehabilitated. Now all I have to do is wait for Victoria Pile to convince yet another bunch of writers and actors that they have created a seminal work whilst all along master minding the whole operation herself and I can get over Green Wing completely. Why Victoria feels the need to create the illusion of a joint effort is I suppose the usual woman of a certain generation stuff. I bet George Lucas never had that trouble.

Whilst Victoria is busy plotting for my benefit, I have found an interim passion - Garrison Keillor.


every Saturday evening at 11pm I hide under my duvet with my precious DAB personal radio to listen to his show on BBC7.

For those pining for the magic voice of JRT, check out GK. For those missing the outrageous humour, check out Lake Wobegon. It's where the woman are strong, the men are good looking, and the children are above average. Definitely not like my locale!

Friday, 21 November 2008

All the Rage

Yes, Leila has done it again. All The Rage is steaming ahead into the crowded waters of online publishing.



Read it.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

My Shopping Hell

Well now. As a founding member of the Sout West London chapter of the Scrooge and Marley Society, I have taken a vow against spending money on anything other than root vegetables and lard.

I recently signed up to Martin Lewis' website http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/. Every week I receive an email from him telling me all about the latest money saving tips he has discovered. Normally I delete it after a quick scan - after all, since I don't spend in the first place, there's nothing to save - but yesterday I was struck by the announcement that M&S would be holding a 20% off extravaganza. http://www.marksandspencer.com/gp/node/n/42966030?extid=0811194a
Well, that got me going. I made my list, I planned my day, and phoned my relatives to tell them all the good news.

This morning, I headed off to our nearest M&S and just about got the last parking space. The place was full of women in hatchbacks, clutching long lists. Withing half an hour I had shopping baskets full of pants, tights, crockery and a board game for Christmas Day - Antiques Road Show. I met my aunt there. When I offered her a lift home, she dashed off to buy more stuff. when we left, three pensioners and a young mother fought over the parking space. Normally the place is empty during the week, but bemused parking attendants just stared at the lines of cars making their way to the store.

I examined my booty when I got home. Some of the items were stored at the back of the wardrobe. These included my new pyjamas. Bitter experience has taught me just to buy my own gifts - I'm never disappointed then. Other items were taken downstairs and washed and put away in the crockery cupboard. I want to see how long it takes for anyone to notice that we have more plates. The remaining items were laid out on the bed for inspection. I have bought enough tights and pants to last for all eternity. I may be instructed to return some of these items. Quite what a ten year old will do with nine pairs of tights, I don't really know.

I'm going to lie down now. If I can find any space betwen the opaque tights and the angora socks.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Occhiali di Bragia

The school run on Thursdays is always a treat. On the way home I can listen to Melvyn Bragg on Radio 4 with In Our Time which every week covers a cutural item.

The other week it was Dante and the Inferno.


I perked up at that one - Something I had actually read!And it all came back to me, studying the first 12 chapters of the Divine Comedy for Italian A level back in the 1970s, in a small cramped room in Stockwell with a bunch of disparate teenagers.

Our first teacher was a loony Roman woman who made it clear thathought it beneath her to be teaching the children of Italian immigrants -she had been led to understand that her pupils would be the children of Embassy staff. The second didn't mind teaching us, but only on condition that she could smoke throughout the proceedings. Pupils who also smoked joined in too. In those days, even mentioning that perhaps smoking in a confined space was not wonderful was greeted with derision, especially from teenage boys whose mothers didn't even know they smoked. Being the most tedious teenager going, the derision was dispensed with relish, and there was no danger of anyone supporting me. The stock answer was always "Oh, I don't mind".

Sometimes the derision was quite witty. When we came to the part where Dante and his guide Virgil are taken across the river Styx to the Underworld by Caronte, he is described has having glowing eyes - Occhi di bragia. One wag, who got meaner to me the more he realised I adored him, came out with "Yeah, like Sylvia - occhiali di bragia - look at those glasses."

I was rather proud of my glasses - they were large clear plastic with the word vogue written on the side in neon writing which made vogue look like vague. Yes, I spent my teens in glasses with vague written on the side. If the cap fits.....

Anyway, I have digressed. Dante. Hmm. Actually, I have a t shirt with the first canto written on it. Benetton, of course, or Ben Elton as my cousin's friends called it for years. Don't think anyone's ever put them right.

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita, mi trovai per una selva oscura ove la via diritta era smarrita. Or something like that. A rough translation would be In the middle years of my life I found myself wandering through a dark forest the path through which had become obscured. Told you it was rough.... An anthem for all of us of a certain age.....

During the programme, Melvyn and his guests referred to the ill fated lovers Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta. There's one line I always remember about there being no greater pain than remembering times of joy during times of sorrow. Pity I can't remember the original Italian.

Dante populated Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell with many of the celebrities of his day. I wonder if anyone could rewrite the Divine Comedy to reflect the present day. There's a thought.

Grand Finale

I had an interesting afternoon last week.

I went to the funeral of someone I had known in my youth.
She had interesting, if sad,life, doggedby ill health.

I really went along because I had known the family for a very long time and to support them . They had a very difficult relationship with her, and found it very unsettling when most of the other mourners sang her praises - they had only know her for a short time and were still in the honeymoon period. For indeed she could be the most charming, wittiest creature on earth, and also the vilest.

I had been warned that it would be a rather unorthodox event. The choice of music for the entry of the coffin was quite something - Fire by Arthur Brown, which for those of you who don't know what I mean , is the song that starts "I am the god of hellfire and I bring you fire..." I actually clapped my hand over my mouth. The rest of the service was rather tame after that! A Humanist person led the event, and he was excellent, despite never even meeting her. An old friend spoke very eloquently and honestly about her. He struck exactly the right tone - warts and all, but consistently positive all the same.

It was a subdued crowd who made their way to the pub afterwards I got a lift from a fellow family supporter who knew another side to her from our long past youth. So many people came that it was quite a crush in the small room at the pub. Circulating was quite a challenge, but I made it round. From a very elderly mother to the youngest grandchild, I was pleased to get to speak to them all.

Then came the piece de resistence - Singing along to "Always look on the bright side of life". Luckily there were many singers in the room so it all went with a swing. Amazingly, I got rather tearful at this point. I was remembering the first time I heard the song when we went as teenagers to see the film. We sat there open mouthed at the ending of the film. Imagine teenagers being shocked about something like that now! I was thinking about how nearly 30 years had passed and how we had all turned out.

Home on the bus to my own three daughters. They were all at home, waiting for their dinner, laughing about something together. "Well God," I thought "let them have their disagreements but please let them never stop them loving eachother."

Actually, I must give my brother a call....

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

two for the price of one - All The Rage August and September 2008

Oops - knew there was something I'd forgotten to do. Update my wonderful blog for you all to enjoy.

Now that Feral Child is back at school, I now have a bit more time to dedicate to my inane ramblings. But first, a bit of housekeeping.
All The Rage has carried on regardless. Here are the links to the July and August editions :



Go on, give it a whirl. You know you want to.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

All The Rage - July

Hello Everyone

here's the link to the latest edition of All The Rage, still going strong.

It's all about dreams this month.

Do take a look:


Thursday, 19 June 2008

Midnight at the Oasis

Is it just me? Ever since the full moon in March, which co-incided with other events such as Good Friday, my energy is completely depleted. It has got to the point that when I see the full moon on my calendar, I simply cancel everything for the day before, during , and afterwards as I'm not fit for anything. Yesterday's full moon found me in bed and fast asleep by 5.30pm, waking up again at 8pm, only crawling out of bed because I had to feed the children.

This is getting ridiculous. I would be grateful for any suggestions.

If anyone says "Get over yourself" I will hit them. Very hard. Yet could this be the solution? I have tried ignoring the whole thing, and of course real life doesn't allow me to take to my bed for days at a time, but yesterday because I was free I went to bed because I could.

Why Midnight at the Oasis? Maria Muldur mentions the moon in that, even if it's only a half moon, which has no effect on me at all!

All the rage - June 2008

It's been out for some time now, but I have been doing other stuff, like recovering from the Moonwalk and catching up with the ironing.

So here it is - June's edition of All The Rage http://www.alltherage.org.uk/alltherage-2008-06.pdf

The theme this month is escape. I immediately thought of the Pina Colada Song and wrote about all that. Knowing that song at all really ages me, I know.

Dreams is the theme for next month's edition. Watch out for that one.

Sunday, 18 May 2008

All revved up and one mile to go!

That was my mantra when I was in Hyde Park this morning when I reached mile 25 of the Moonwalk.
I did it, I effing well did it!
What an experience! The people, the atmosphere, everything.
Mercifully for the people of London, I kept my fleece on all the time so my bra was well covered at all times.
I did it in 8 hours - my aim was to do it by then. I was the last of my group to finish, but no matter - it appears I was only 10 minutes behind them. I was glad I was on my own, as I was very concerned about holding people back. Well, I was never really on my own, as there were 15,000 of us all together.
For me, it was just a walk, but for most people it was a journey of high emotion, especially when we passed the Marsden and I overheard a group of ladies agreeing to stop and hold onto the railing for a few minutes. I don't think that stretching was what they had in mind at that point.

Reaching the mile 26 sign was incredible. I then went to collect my medal and goodie bag, and met up with the gang. They were being collected by husbands, and I staggered home on the 137.

I got home, waved my medal at my incredulous family, and promptly fell face down on the bed and stayed there for the rest of the day. I'm just pleased I organised the following week before the Walk. If I drop dead, at least my husband has clean shirts for a week.

Am off to book my mobility scooter. I will never knowingly walk another step again.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Wrinkly Management

What about it? Doesn't Nivea have a product to deal with it? No, not wrinkle management, I mean the management of those who have lots of wrinkles. Old people.

My old person who needs managing is my mother in law. Another Doctor's appointment today, instigated by me, please don't tell her, she's already a bit suspicious. This on prescribed nose drops. We nod, leave, get the prescription, which no doubt will never come out of the bag, and move on to the real business of the day, a trip to M&S.

We stock up on old lady stuff. This is actually no different to mine, except that she has far better taste. We pay, go on to buy some food, and then leave.

We have lunch back at her flat where she confesses to me she hasn't had a proper meal for ages. We eat up, attack some of her Easter egg, and then I leave to deal with her grandchildren.

I phone other members of the family and tell them what's been going on. They almost sound grateful. What they don't realise is that I'm doing it for my own benefit, trying to control an uncontrollable situation. Trying to accept that after over 20 years of wrangling with her, we may be near the end. Up to now, I thought she was immortal. Now I suspect that she isn't.

It's the dependancy, really. Showing her things in the shop, I thought I was beginning to choose things for her. It was quite sad, really.

I keep hoping that she'll be back on an even keel soon and will be back to her old ways.

We'll see.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

fat woman rant

Yes, here we go, another fat woman rant.

The temperature here in South London has risen and it's officially summertime.
And I hate it. And I hate hating it.
Because it means that yet again despite my efforts I'm having to keep my lardy self covered up.
I feel ill, hot , sweaty and unable to do anything apart from perform beached whale impersonations.
Luckily last year I invested in some lineny clothes, so I don't have to sweat it out in my elephantine jeans, but even these just show me that I'm slightly larger than I was last year.

I'll get over it.
There are far worse things in life.

Friday, 9 May 2008

So, what's been happening, then?

I'll tell you what's been happening.

Training for this http://www.walkthewalk.org/Challenges/ThePlaytexMoonWalk

I don't know how it happened, but I got a place, followed the training booklet, and it's just over a week to go.

I have been supported and generally cattleprodded by the wondeful Suzy http://www.walkingworkouts.co.uk/ so much that I'm now finding very difficult to walk on my own.

Over the past few weeks, we've walked some fabulous routes around London, along the river, round and round Hyde Park, and finally last Sunday we walked 20 miles from Hampton Court to Batteresea Bridge all along the river in 5.5 hours.

I swear that after 17/18 May I will invest in a mobility scooter and never walk another step.

I'm planning my costume. The rules state that we have to walk in decorated bras. My children have made me promise that I will not expose any part of myself. Bit of a conflict there, I think.
Still, they will be asleep at home whilst I do this, so I'll jolly well do as I please! The walking starts at midnight, so it'll be interesting to see how we cope with being up all night.

I'll keep you posted.

All The Rage - May 2008

I am horrified to note that it's over two minths since I wrote anything of note on my blog. I know, I know, I've been neglecting my army of readers, but life has been going on.

I am delighted to share with you the latest edition of All The Rage.

I hope you enjoy it.


Monday, 3 March 2008

All the Rage - March 2008

It's all go here!

And Leila has been busy again crafting another fine edition of All the Rage.


This month's theme is Space (and not necessarily the Final Frontier)

So read it!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Help - I'm doing the Moonwalk!

Well, it had to come out sooner or later - it appears that I'm doing the Playtex Moonwalk 2008 http://www.walkthewalk.org/about.htm as a member of the Sweaty Betty Team http://www.sweatybetty.com/Scripts/prodlist.asp.

The Moonwalk is the walk which takes place in central London overnight. Everyone is supposed to wear their bras over their clothes. It's supposed to be the most wonderful event and I'm slowly coming round to the fact that I'm really going to do it.

We had our first training session yesterday - two hours spent walking round Battersea Park, following the trim and toned lovelies from Head Office.

How have I got involved? Well, I spend Monday morning walking around Wandsworth Common with the MBT walking group run by Sweaty Betty Battersea. It's all good clean fun. One morning, someone with a clipboard asked if I was interested and I said ok, never thinking I'd get a place as it's a very popular event.

A few weeks later, I got the news. So I'd better get training!

Of course, my family think I'm absolutely barking mad. And they're probably right. I can only hope that I can manage the 26 miles in the allotted 8 hour slot, otherwise I'll end up in a dustcart somewhere.

Friday, 1 February 2008

All The Rage - February 2008

Hello Everybody Peeps!

Here's the latest edition of the wonderful All The Rage


Let's hope the link works this time and Leila won't have to get her cattle prod out.

It's all about time.

And I've been allowed to contribute.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Throwing it all away

When I'm not frolicking on a Saturday night, I've been spending my time clearing out the house.

What started as a bit of filing has now turned into an attempt to break the People's Republic of Lambeth's record for the highest number of recycling sacks left out all at once for the collectors. We're up to ten sacks at the moment, and we have three days to go.

My cousin gave me an Australian Flower Remedy combo - Purifying - which has set me off foraging through cupboards and throwing things away.

I'm now thinking about what I'm going to do with my collection of Feng Shui magazines, my old French degree coursebooks, and all the magazines and newspapers I kept when the children were born. What immediately comes to mind is my trusty shopping trolley and the fact that the British Heart Foundation Bookshop is a two minute walk from my abode. And I have another roll of orange sacks.

I am determined to work my way through the house. My old work clothes - even the Jaegar stuff, bed linen from the 1980s, our last pushchair, all the crap my aunt gave us when she cleared out her own house, all the self help books I've bought from the charity shops, and so forth.

I'm even tempted to pack away the cupboard full of crystal we got as a wedding present. What possessed us to want all that stuff when we only use glasses from the supermarket. Why do I need ten plastic mixing bowls, when a couple will do. Mercifully we have an Oxfam furniture shop within dragging distance so they can all go there. The trick will be to escape from the Oxfam shop with an empty trolley.

I have now stopped the arrival of more crap to replace the old stuff. The post is processed on arrival - I attack it like a manky old rottweiler. School letters are digested and immediately binned, and magazines and read and passed on within the week.

We're knee deep in crud at the moment, but it'll be lovely when it's all finished.

Watch this ever increasing space!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Another Saturday Night.....

So far this year, there have been three Saturday Nights.

On the first, as detailed in a previous post, I spent a wild evening with some wild women watching reruns of Green Wing in a pub in Bermondsey St, SE1. Oh, and it was my birthday (thank you all for your good wishes).

On the second, I decided at the last minute to accept an invitation to a concert/meditation featuring the amazing Gabriella Kapfer. Didn't know what to expect, but it was a wonderful experience.


On the third, my husband and I went to see Much Ado at the National starring Zoe Wanamaker and Simon Russell Beale. What a fantastic performance. Even my husband, who's seriously allergic to anything cultural, enjoyed himself. And we saw Joanna Lumley in the car park! What could be better than that? It was a pity that when we got home we discovered that our house had been trashed by young people with too much coca cola in them, but never mind....


So what about this coming Saturday? will that be it, now, for the rest of the year? I am doing the moonwalk in May, so that's at least one more Saturday booked up, but I fear that will be it now, and I'll have to spend Saturdays as usual, in the bosom of my family, elbow deep in washing up.

Any suggestions, anyone??

Thursday, 10 January 2008

All The Rage - January 2008

Here we go again!

Another edition of All the Rage and I'm in it, again!

It's a good read.

The theme this month is Forbidden Knowledge

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Yesterday it was my birthday....

I hung one more year on the line.
I should be depressed, my life's a mess, but I'm having a good time......

Yes, indeed, it was my birthday. I had a wonderful day.

Presents - usual collection of bogof books from husband:
Paul McKenna - I can make you thin
Bill Bryson - Thunderbolt Kid
Niambh Greene - Confessions of a desperate housewife

stuff from children - candle and home made bracelet

Went shopping for some lovely cheap stuff from Nappy Valley

Then spent the evening in a pub watching reuns of Green Wing with a bunch of likeminded women.

We drank, ate, chatted, made yellow post it note wigs, booed, cheered, sighed, and generally had a wonderful time.

We watched episodes 5 and 6 from the first series, and episode 4 form the second. Then we also watched The Phenomenon from the Definitive Edition.

Then we went home.

Would some men like to come next time? It would be very interesting to get a male perspective on GW. Or perhaps, according to my husband, men have better things to do with their time. Splitting the atom? Anyway, just sign up to http://excoboard.com/exco/index.php?boardid=17848 and you too could find yourself on a leather banquette wedged between a bunch of cuddly women with a white wine too many inside them........

Think about it.